The last time fewer women ran for the Himachal Pradesh assembly was 19 years ago

Of the 338 contesting candidates, only 19 are women

When Himachal Pradesh held its second state assembly elections in 1967, women contested for the first time in the state. Of the 267 contestants, only two were women. Neither of them won.

This week, when Himachal Pradesh goes to polls on Thursday, only 19 women will battle for a spot in the state legislative assembly. That is 19 out of 338 - 5.6%.

Like other Indian states, Himachal Pradesh has a history of having few female contestants. But you have to go all the way back to 1993 to find an election in which the percentage of women candidates was lower than 5.6%.

If 100 people contest in Himachal Pradesh, only 5 of them will be female

Percentage of candidates in Himachal Pradesh Assembly election by gender (1951-2017)


Source: Election Commission of India (ECI)

If historical trends continue to stand, very few of this year’s 19 women will win.

This is a state-wide phenomenon — few women contest assembly polls and even fewer win. Even in the assembly elections that took place across five states in March, women succeeded in only 55 of the 690 seats that went to polls.

In the current state assembly, Himachal Pradesh has only three female sitting MLAs. All three have been MLAs in the past.

Men have always dominated the Himachal Pradesh state assembly

Percentage of winners in Himachal Pradesh assembly election by gender (1951-2012)


Source: Election Commission of India (ECI)

With seven candidates, almost a third of the women contesting this year belong to the Kangra district in the western part of the state. Another district with participation from women is Mandi, where four female candidates are in the fray this year.

Constituencies where women won in 2012
Constituencies where women are contesting in 2017